Stop telling me to “Enjoy this childhood magic.”

Posted on | March 19, 2014 | 17 Comments

Let me preface this with, I love my children. I adore them. I think they are the smartest, cutest, most loving children that have ever walked this earth. And most of all, every time I look at them, I am reminded of the fact that I loved my husband enough that I wanted part of him to grow inside me for nine months, give me heart burn and stretch marks and thirty extra pounds, and then expel that child from my body and live the rest of my life terrified that something would happen to that child or that I would fail in my parenting. I was willing to spend every waking (and sleeping moment) worrying over these little beings and who they would become and how I could be the best mom I could be simply because I love, painfully and fully, love my husband and could not imagine life without children created by us.

With that being said, if one more person posts a guilty-inducing diatribe about how I should “Enjoy this childhood magic,” and “Never rush my babies,” and “Let your children run your damn life.” Or if one more person touches my hand and warns me, “Enjoys these years…” I’m going to punch someone in the vagina.

I get it. Childhood is beautiful and magical. I remember pretending I was a horse and prancing around the yard (an act that would surely win me a spot on TLC’s “Strange Addictions” as an adult). I jumped out of a two-story barn without the knowledge of my parents. I once pretended that a jar of “Gak” was actually an alien. I had sea monkeys and named them. Okay, so maybe I was just weird. But childhood was magical to me.

And you know what? My parents weren’t lenient. They weren’t overbearing, but they expected kindness of me. They expected obedience and age-appropriate discipline. I wasn’t allowed to talk back. I wasn’t allowed to be late. I wouldn’t have gotten away with a harsh word or eye-roll, and yet, my childhood was still magical.

I wasn’t perfect. In fifth grade, my best friend and I called a girl on a triple line and tried to get her to say mean things about each other. In middle school, I cheated at Accelerated Reader and got caught taking tests for my friends so they could attend the AR end-of-year party. In high school, two girlfriends and I got caught drinking. And these are just the moments in which I was caught. There were probably countless others that weren’t pretty or anything to be proud of that I just happened to slip by my parents (sorry y’all). Each and every time I got caught, my parents taught me a lesson. I learned the importance of being kind to others. I was taught the grace of forgiveness. I learned the hard line of honesty and doing what’s right. And I learned the difference between a “bit of fun,” and hurting others. And in the end? All those times I wasn’t caught, I carried the weight of what I deserved. I learned right and wrong, and I am forever grateful.

My parents didn’t have articles condemning them for “stifling” my independence. Or shaming them for raising their voices when I crossed a line. I learned the pain of hurting others. Of disappointing my family. They didn’t have someone whispering in their ear that I would be forever damaged because they asked me to “hurry up” or fussed at me for refusing to stop touching something in an antique store.

Every time I discipline my children, a tiny person whispers in my ear, “Make childhood magical!” or “Show them kindness always!” or “YOU SUCK AS A PARENT BECAUSE YOU’RE ANGRY THEY JUST EXPLODED YOGURT EVERYWHERE!”

And here’s what I think.

Let your babies finger paint. But it’s okay to teach them that painting the walls isn’t “creative expression.” It’s a good way to make mama have to scrub walls. Let them play outside, but it’s okay to snatch up a baby’s arm as he throws a fit because he doesn’t want to come in for supper. Enjoy and entertain their stories and questions, but the world isn’t going to end when you ask for a moment of silence in traffic because you can’t concentrate on driving and answering for the sixth time why firetrucks exist.

My babies are beautiful and unique creatures, and I want to grow their personalities in every way. But my top two worries as a parent are 1) keep my babies safe and 2) help them grow into adults who aren’t assholes.

Sometimes that means I have to raise my voice. Sometimes that means I have to do time out fifteen times before noon. Sometimes that means I snatch up crayons and take them away for the day. And sometimes it means we spend two hours at the playground instead of the thirty minutes I really have. Sometimes it means I spend some extra time cleaning up sprinkles from cookies decorated by tiny fraternity boys. Or I wash grass stains out of Easter clothes. There’s such a balance, it’s a fight to maintain that balance, and I’ll be damned if I’ll let one more blog post make me feel guilty for doing what I have to do to raise decent humans.

So for all you mamas out there who have read a blog from a holier-than-thou parent who feels they are qualified to explain to you all the ways you are wrong, cheers. Pour a glass of wine, and know you are not alone. I’m right here, reliving another long day, and thanking God for keeping my babies alive and my mind (mostly) in tact.

The CrossFit Open: Why all CrossFitters should compete.

Posted on | March 12, 2014 | 3 Comments

There is one thing all CrossFitters have in common: we want to better ourselves. We want to push ourselves. And, at least at a very nuclear level, we want to compete. If you we didn’t want to compete, we wouldn’t put ourselves up against a clock, a higher weight, a faster athlete, time and time again.

The Open allows us to compete against every CrossFit athlete in the entire world. It stacks you up against your gym (or box…I just can’t get used to calling it that), against your state, your region, your country. It consists of one challenging work out per week. You have the weekend to do the work out and have your scores judged and submitted. For the top athletes, it allows them to qualify for regionals, and maybe, the CrossFit Games.

For “athletes” like me, it can be intimidating. I am the queen of self-deprecation…notice how I did the athlete in quotations? I struggle with calling myself an athlete, even though all CrossFitters are, because it seems too high a compliment for my abilities. I’m the first to laugh at my inabilities, claim I “can’t” do something, and feel tempted to skip a work out where I know I will be one of the last on the leaderboard. And the Open has taught me something.

Self-deprecation might be funny, but it sure isn’t helpful or healthy. It’s demeaning to your own self, and it, quite possibly, limits what you really are capable of doing. For example, here’s how I looked after 14.1 (an AMRAP of 30 double unders and 15 snatches).

I looked like that because I spent the Thursday evening the WOD was announced until the Saturday morning I competed to bemoan the fact that I “couldn’t do” double unders. I swore up and down that I was just going to worry about getting one rep to stay in the game, and I basically talked myself out of being able to do any sort of double under work before the clock even started. And you know what? I proved myself right. I got 24 reps. And I spent a total of ten minutes beating the shit out of myself. It was miserable, and I walked away wanting to cry. I was embarrassed and frustrated, and it was the first time I’ve ever wanted to quit a WOD.

I didn’t learn my lesson there. When 14.2 was announced and included three minute rounds of 10 heavy-ish overhead squats and 10 chest-to-bar pull-ups, I convinced myself I would only get 10 reps because I’ve never tried a chest-to-bar pull-up. Guess who got 10 rounds? And you know what? I think if I’d spent that evening convincing myself that I would get my first chest-to-bar ever, and if I went to the gym the next morning with the commitment to get even one, I just might have.

After 14.2, I went into the gym with a different attitude. I no longer “can’t do” things. I “haven’t done them yet.” Cheesy? Sure. But you know what? I did a WOD today that went something like this;

10 minute AMRAP
200m run
15 sumo-deadlift high-pulls (65lbs)

2 minute rest

10 minute AMRAP
30 double unders
15 thursters (65lbs)

I knew those thrusters would get heavy. I knew the double unders would be tough, but I chose to put the weight on my bar and not look back. I chose to skip the single jump modification and committed myself to doing double unders the entire time.

185 reps later, and I had completed the wod out as “perscribed.” I didn’t have to drop my weight. I didn’t get frustrated when I missed a double under. I just did it. And I was on a high the rest of the day.

The Open has given me a new found commitment to hard work and success that I didn’t have prior to competing. Had I chosen not to sign up, had I chosen to just do the work outs at the gym in class instead of having to post my scores to a leaderboard, had I allowed myself to take the step back and let others step up like I would have been more comfortable doing, chances are, I still wouldn’t have those double unders.

YOGASMOGA: Review and Giveaway!

Posted on | March 10, 2014 | 40 Comments

One of my favorite things about working out is the fact that I can find cute, comfortable gym clothes that can take me from CrossFit to the treadmill to the grocery store. I am a firm believer that women should invest in a gym wardrobe. Believe me, I once was a wearer of baggy shirts and ill-fitting shorts. I followed the mantra, “Well, it’s just going to get sweaty, so who cares how I look?” and I (admittedly) mocked the women at the gym who looked “too” done-up. Now don’t get me wrong, I might still give the side-eye to a chick in booty shorts, a sports bra, and no work out going on to speak of, but I knowingly smile at the women I see in coordinating crops and tops or fancy printed yoga pants.

There’s a certain joy that comes from wearing gym clothing that fits, flatters, and manages to be super functional. NO, I’m not trying to pick up a date at the gym. I wear cute clothes because they make me feel more confident and more comfortable in my skin. If I can do squats without worrying about my pants falling down or showing my thong, then I’m a happy camper.

I’m excited to introduce you to YOGASMOGA.

On the scene just a little over a year now, YOGASMOGA was founded by inovative people who strongly believe in the beauty and power of Yoga and who strive bring it into every aspect of their lives. In a day when companies can often seem too big to be sincere and too focused on the bottom line, YOGASMOGA’s core values are a breath of fresh air:

DEEP, DIRECT AND LASTING CONNECTIONS.
We put in great love, care and devotion to create products that will delight our SMOGIs (that’s you and all of our YOGASMOGA community). We aim to touch the daily lives of our SMOGIs, building deep connections and long-lasting bonds.
A RESPONSIBILITY BASED REPUTATION.
We strive to earn the respect of our SMOGIs by constantly delivering at a superior level with everything we do. We know this respect is earned through action and over a long period of time. We take this responsibility seriously. We make real things for life and at times mistakes will happen. Our promise is to rectify any mistake immediately and proactively.
A MANTRA OF INNOVATION.
We are committed to using the most innovative and pioneering techniques to develop our fabric technology. Our unyielding commitment to using the best technologies is more than a best practice for us, it’s our mantra –– an everyday practice that yields far superior products for our SMOGI’s.
A CORE OF AUTHENTICITY.
While we labor to work with the most technologically advanced fabrics and manufacturing techniques, we pursue a relentless focus on the deep-rooted traditions of YOGA . We strive to apply the principles, practice and spirit of Yoga to everything we do, and everything we create. We hope this will bring Yoga to life in new and meaningful ways.
COLLABORATION AS CULTURE.
We inspire our people to be creative through constant collaboration. This drives us to deliver the very best, for everyone. Our people take pride in the work we do together.
EAT, SLEEP & BREATHE THE DETAILS.
We have an uncompromising determination to achieve excellence in everything we undertake––one breath at a time. We believe that if we pay keen attention to the smallest details and strive for ever-present awareness in our everyday actions, the results will show.
THE GIFT OF NAMASKÁR.
We recognize that textile production is typically done in the most challenged economic locations in the world and we feel it is our absolute obligation and duty to give back to those who have joined us on this journey. Which is why we have created the Namaskár Foundation.

While I’m not yogi (as you well know), I appreciate any company who supports women and men as they work to better themselves physically and mentally. When YOGASMOGA offered to send a top and a bottom for me to review, I couldn’t say “yes” quickly enough!

I was sent the “Classic Slimmie Pant” and the “Sneak ‘N Peek Bra.” I’ll start with the Classic Slimmie. I am usually a 6-8 in most work out clothes (remember that they usually run a bit small in comparison to your jeans and conventional brands). I decided to take a chance with the 6, and I’m glad I did. It’s compressive but entirely opaque. They are more giving than other yoga pants I’ve tried, and so they are super comfortable.

The rise is fairly high, which I happen to prefer. No plumber’s crack during squats!

I really do think they are slimming and flattering! Fitted along the hip, flat seamed stitching, and hidden pockets make it super fuctional.

They are reversible with a logo on the leg and one at the waistband so you can choose to show it off or keep it discrete. I found them very slimming in relation to some of my other pants. No muffin top!

I took them on a test run to CrossFit and put them through a work out with double unders and box jumps. I didn’t have to mess with pulling them up even once (I HATE THAT!), and so these definitely passed the test. The only complaint I had is that they tend to collect dog hair. So if you have pets, make sure you keep a lint roller nearby. I did find that after several washes, that seemed to be less of a problem. Retailing for $109, they aren’t “cheap” but I honestly think the price is well worth it, and they have Tall sizes available for you lucky, leggy gals.

The Sneak ‘N Peak bra was another great work out staple. I used to be under the impression that if you were smaller chested, you could get away with cheaper bras. But as my Target cheapies started falling apart and losing support after just a month or two of wear, I realized that even us less-endowed ladies should invest in a few good, supportive sports bras.

This high-impact bra is simple but comfortable and supportive. I went with a 6 in it as well (usually a 34B), and I found it to fit perfectly.

Thick straps, flat seams, and hidden mesh help it stay breathable, chafe-free, and it won’t dig into your shoulders.

It got me through the same intense work out as the Classic Slimmie pants, and I didn’t have a single complaint!

At $52, it’s pricier than some department store bras, but you get what you pay for. I believe this bra is a long-lasting staple to any lady’s work out wardrobe.

YOGASMOGA has several programs you might be interested in when you shop. For one, their SMOGI BUCKS program allows you to earn money through referrals. You can then spend that money on your own purchases. Right now, you can get $25 SMOGI BUCKS towards your first order, AND free shipping!

YOGASMOGA has generously offered a free top or bottom of your choice to one of my readers! Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

What I ate…Otherwise known as, “I only eat things out of bowls.”

Posted on | February 25, 2014 | 3 Comments

I love it when bloggers share what they eat throughout the day. I don’t know why. What’s so interesting about what people stuff in their mouths? But I always get different lunch ideas or ideas as to how to break my meals up to keep me full, so I thought I’d join in the party.

7:30AM-Got up and scarfed half a Larabar and half a banana. I hate bananas. But everyone says I should eat them to help avoid cramping. Whatever. I drank a cup of coffee with it, and then I had a pre-workout drink on the way to the gym.

9:00AM-Dropped the babies at the CrossFit daycare area and started warming up. The work out today was,

Warm up: 2x-30 Jumping Jacks
-30 Seal jumps
-20 Jumping squats
-10 dislocates
-20 good mornings
-10 inchworms

Goat Work for ten minutes (I chose pull-ups and did a pyramid. First one, rest ten seconds, two, rest twenty seconds, and so on).

WOD: 800m run
5 box jumps at 20″ (Rx was 24″)
9 hang cleans at 85lbs (Rx was 95lbs)
400m run
7 box jumps
7 hang cleans
200m run
9 box jumps
5 hang cleans

Whooo. It was a tough one. I think I could have Rx’d the weight, but 24″ box jumps are still scary to me. I did one before the WOD and was able to make it, but I felt pretty sure I’d slam into it by the last round, so I went with the safer choice.

10:30AM-When I got home, I gave the babies some snacks and scarfed a bowl of leftovers from the night before. I had roasted brussel sprouts, bacon, and turkey sausage in a bit of olive oil, garlic salt, and a tiny bit of parm cheese. SO good. Some times I’ll do a protein shake after the gym, but usually only if I don’t have real food on hand or if I’m feeling a bit overheated still.

12:30PM-Lunch time! I scrambled up eggs and gave the boys breakfast for lunch. It’s always a huge hit. I had two eggs, myself. I was still kind of full from my after work out snack. But two eggs in a bit of butter is always a good pick-me-up.

1:00PM-Naptime, thank the sweet Lord. I scrubbed the bathrooms and then laid down in bed for about forty-five minutes. I find that on the days I’m able to, a nice little nap really helps me get through the week.

3:00PM-Sully’s up and hungry. He doesn’t really nap anymore, but he still has to have “quiet time” in his room. Sometimes he’s less than quiet, but at least I get a little break. I cut him up a few strawberries and then make myself a half cup of greek yogurt with a drizzle of honey and a tablespoon of chia seeds. This is one of my favorite snacks of all time. I also had some Airborne because I was feeling a little bit like I’m getting a cold. Bleck.

4:30PM-Everyone’s up! Gym time again. I don’t always do two-a-days, but right now it’s too cold outside to really enjoy the park, and the boys like playing with their friends at the gym daycare, so on days like this, I go ahead and hit the gym one more time.

5:00PM-Sign the boys in and hit the bike. I did,

3 rounds of 20 second sprints, 10 seconds of rest on the bike. In between rounds, I did max sets of push ups.

Then I hopped on the treadmill and did,
Run 800m
Rest half the time
Run 800m
Rest half the time
Run 400m
Rest….
Run 400m
Rest….
Run 200m
Rest….

After that, I was pretty smoked. The work out only took about thirty minutes with warm up and cool down.

6:30PM-After a quick drop by the grocery store, the boys and I head home. They requested “Paw Patrol” (I let them watch a couple episodes of their favorites shows at night while I’m getting supper ready). I fixed supper up as quickly as I could because I was starving! The boys had some roasted turkey, a few brussel sprouts, some chips, yogurt, and string cheese. They didn’t touch the sprouts. Oh well. I had leftover sprouts and a couple more eggs. This time, I added some extra turkey, a sprinkle of cheese, and some hot sauce. SO good.

After getting babies bathed, PJ’d, read to, and down for the night, I made a green smoothie with two big handfuls of spinach, one cup of grapefruit juice, and a handful of mixed berries. I usually need some sort of sweetish evening snack to tie me over until the next day. Now, I’m getting ready to brew some Sleepytime tea and call it a night.

So phew. There you go! It’s quite a bit of food, I guess, and I never feel deprived. Some days are better than others. I could have used some more veggies today, but I was feeling a little lazy in the preparation portion. Maybe tomorrow? On two-a-day days, I definitely have to eat more to help recover. I just am learning to listen to my body and feed it what it needs…not what it wants. I’ve learned french fries and ranch dressing are amazing, but they don’t do great things for me. The boys don’t eat quite as cleanly as me. I throw in some fruit snacks or a granola bar here and there for them. If I didn’t, feeding them on the go would be much more difficult. It’s not perfect, and I’m definitely not saying you have to eat like me, but if you’re nosy like me, maybe you liked this insight.

A new lifting cycle.

Posted on | February 24, 2014 | 4 Comments

When I first started CrossFit, my entire goal was, “Please don’t puke, pass out, or die.” In that order. Now that I’ve gotten more accustomed to the mental and physical strain of fast, intense work outs, I no longer fear embarrassment (or death). I figure if I puke or pee my pants, I won’t be the first. I’ve seen it happen, and guess what? Everyone involved survived! And no one laughed at them unless they were laughing at themselves. It’s a very open, enjoyable community, and I’m grateful that I can honestly say I never feel like people will make fun of me.

When I miss a lift, they cheer me on to try again.

When I feel defeated from a really long AMRAP (as many reps as possible work out), they are there are the floor trying to recover with me.

When I’m struggling with a particular movement, they are struggling with me or giving me tips that helped them.

With that being said, I’m now looking to get better. My end-state will no longer be, “Finish.” I’m really wanting to focus more on getting more weight on the bar, getting down some movements that I’ve really struggled with (pull-ups), and trying to become more well-rounded. I know there will always be weaknesses I need to focus on, but I’m hoping I can overcome some of them that I have now and push on to the next level.

I registered for the CrossFit Open this year. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s a world-wide competition in which every registered athlete completes five different work outs that are supposed to touch on most of the core lifts and really push athletes in metcons and strength. I know I’m not going to be “competitive” per say. I’m not trying to get to regionals this year (that would be a pipe dream), but I thought it would be a great way to see how I fair this year versus next year. I’ve been doing CrossFit for about seven months now, and I’ve seen a huge improvement since I started, but I’ve got a long ways to go, and I’m hoping I’ll continue to see jumps in my PRs and abilities as this year progresses. I think the Open will be a great benchmark for comparisons.

I’m also still on a really cleaned-up diet. I’ve since adjusted it a bit…I eat greek yogurt and some other dairy like cheese at least once a day. I stay away from grains the vast majority of the time. I’ve cut out basically all unnatural sugar (except for some dark chocolate!), and I’m still keeping wine to the weekends at the most. I feel so much better when I clean up my diet, and it keeps me from feeling bloated or having “fat days.” I feel pretty much the same all the time, and that’s a huge difference from when I was eating junk here and there. No more afternoon sugar spikes. No more big water weight fluctuations. It’s all a good thing. I haven’t gotten on the scale in months, but I think I’ve put on a little muscle weight. I’ll probably continue to avoid the scale. I just have such a mental aversion to those numbers, and it’s something that still bothers me.

So, there it is! I’m looking forward to adding some weight, focusing on olympic-type lifts a little more, and hopefully see some changes! I’m also going to put together my “Must Have” list for working out, and specifically for CrossFit. If you have any things that you LOVE, be sure to leave a comment. I’ll check them out and write about it.

How to stay connected when your hero (or you) are far away with #vonagebox

Posted on | February 11, 2014 | No Comments

UPDATED: You can now enter to win a full year subscription to your very own Vonage Box! Simply “Like” them on Facebook (facebook.com/Vonage) and/or comment below on how your Vonage Box would beneficial to your family. I’m working low-tech from my mobile right now as my computer needed a touch up, so we will keep this simple! A winner will be drawn randomly this Friday, 4/26. Good luck!

_____________________________________________

I think one of the hardest parts about a deployment is the lack of communication. On Taylor’s first deployment in 2009, we would sometimes go entire weeks without speaking. When we did talk, the phone connections were shotty, Skype blipped in and out, and I still felt disconnected. Another difficulty we face as a military family is keeping in touch with friends overseas. The godfather of Sullivan is moving to Germany shortly, and we’ve talked back and forth a bit about how we’re going to stay in touch without running up hundreds of dollars in telephone bills.

Honestly, I had no idea something like the Vonage Box even existed, so when they reached out to see if I would be interested reviewing their product, I was curious to see how this thing worked.

This little box is pretty incredible. Basically, you hook it up to your internet and your phone, and you can start making calls. Easy peasy. Here are a few little overviews about what makes Vonage so different:

1) You get a phone number (or can keep your current one) and can make unlimited mobile calls to anywhere in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.
2) You can make unlimited landline calls to sixty different countries and mobiles in ten countries.
3) SimulRing® is a special app that allows you to set your Vonage number to ring on up to five other phones like your office and mobile. No more missed calls from deployments!
4) The Vonage® Extensions® allows you to make outbound calls from your mobile at home phone calling rates.
5) You can sign up for Visual Voicemail (I love that).
6) Caller ID, Call Waiting, Anonymous Call Block, 3-Way Calling, Call Forwarding and more are all included with our basic home phone service. Yay for free features!

Admittedly, there are tons of ways to communicate these days, even when your spouse is overseas. But Vonage provides a customer service network and a guarateed reliability that you really can’t find elsewhere. Here are a few comparisons of Vonage and some other platforms:

It was seriously no problem setting up, and the good news if you do have any issues, Vonage customer service is amazing. I can’t tell you the number of questions I asked just to make sure I really understood the product before I even tried to use it, and everyone I spoke with was incredibly patient and kind (nothing like the usual service I get when speaking to our local cable company!). They even have a “Live Chat” that is so great for those afternoons when babies are napping, and you really don’t want to have to pick up a phone to get some help. I’m really looking forward to see how our Vonage Box works for us the next time Taylor is away, and I honestly think it’s going to be a great addition to our “deployment survival” gear.

The coolest part is that soon, some fellow bloggers and myself will be giving out Vonage Boxes and ONE FREE YEAR of service (A $550+ value!), so stay tuned. If you want to learn a little more about how Vonage phone calls work, be sure to check out these bloggers:

Scattered Seashells
Next Gen Milspouse
Ramblings of A Marine Wife
Cammo Style Love

*Vonage sent me a Vonage Box to review. As per FTC standards, all opinions are entirely my own.

Thirty Day Paleo/Primal Challenge

Posted on | February 3, 2014 | 1 Comment

My gym started a 30 Day Challenge today for anyone interested in giving the Paleo/Primal diets a try. Since the holidays, I definitely haven’t been as strict with my diet as I probably should. I’ve snuck in some bread, white potatoes, and cookies here and there, and I’m ready to hunker back down to business! So, that means from today until March 3rd (with the exception of Valentine’s Day weekend), I’m having:

1) No wine *EEEK!*
2) No sugar (besides what is found naturally in fruits and veggies)
3) Very minimal dairy
4) No grains
5) No white potatoes
6) No beans
7) No processed foods and artificial sweeteners

I’m excited to really dig in and see what the difference is in my body and work outs. I tend to get a little heavy handed on the wine and dairy when I’m not paying attention, so I think cutting alcohol out and cutting dairy way down will help improve my performance at the gym. Even a glass or two of wine at night leaves me feeling a little dehydrated and sluggish the next morning, and while I try to avoid it during the week for the most part anyway, I usually end up having wine one or two week days. I’m weak when it comes to the Pinto Grigio (as you all well know!), so, I need to turn it back into a treat rather than a standard.

I’m also not going to drink anything carbonated. Bye-bye La Croix and (gasp) my occasional Diet Coke. You probably remember that I quit the coke awhile back, but I’ve since let myself have one or two a week, so I need to get back to not drinking the poison at all.

Valentine’s weekend is free game. I would maybe not cheat that weekend, but we found out some deployment news that will take affect very shortly after that weekend, so I want to fully enjoy it without worrying about what I can and can’t eat or drink.

Now, I’ll admit, the hardest part about this lifestyle is the prep time for meals and figuring out what to snack on when you get hungry between meals. Our meal plan for this week is:

-Homemade chicken soup (with no grains added)
-Pork tenderloin with roasted brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes
-Turkey meatballs and spaghetti squash with no sugar added sauce and a salad
-Lemon chicken with roasted broccoli and spaghetti squash
-Leftovers

For breakfast, I usually chow down on a banana really quickly before the gym. After the gym, I scramble up a couple of eggs and eat a piece of lean meat. Lunch will generally be either leftovers or a salad with protein. Snacks include apples with almond butter, carrots and guacamole, Larabars in a pinch, and little bits of leftovers. Something that takes some getting used to is that you’re eating dinner-like food for virtually every meal and snack.

There are a few withdrawal symptoms I’m expecting based on the last time I went hardcore paleo. The biggest ones were afternoon sluggishness, restless dreams, and hunger. It takes awhile (up to a month), for your body to learn how to metabolize fats rather than using quick carbs as fuel, and sometimes you can feel a little wonky. It gets better, I promise!

If you want to join in, I’ll be checking in once or twice a week and sharing meal plans and how I’m feeling. I’d love to hear your experience!

A weekend with babes.

Posted on | January 27, 2014 | 3 Comments

On Friday morning, I decided to load up the babies and head to visit family because Taylor was headed TDY for another trip in two weeks, and the idea of spending a weekend alone with babies just seemed overwhelming. Sometimes, you just need a break, you know? And you really need a break when the idea of packing up everyone’s things, loading up a dog, and driving three hours without any help for potty breaks or snacks sounds better than spending one more minute in your house.

I’m exaggerating. It really wasn’t that bad, but I was feeling antsy to do something, anything, so off we went!

So, we headed to see my family. And we went to see “Frozen”! It’s the first movie we have ever taken Arlo to see, and I was anxious about how he would handle the theater.

He got antsy after thirty minutes, but Sully was a rock star through the whole movie. And also? “Frozen” is hilarious and wonderful. BEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR! Maybe not, but close.

I went to the opening of a CrossFit gym in town. It was a Partner WOD, and I ended up being paired with a brand new CrossFitter. She felt bad because she thought she was holding me back, but I was so proud of her putting herself out there and doing an incredibly hard work out. It was:

Four Rounds of:

50 Plate Squats (25lbs)
40 Kettlebell Swings (35lbs)
30 Wall Balls (15lbs)
20 Sit ups
10 Deadlifts (155lbs)

I was able to RX it (do it at the suggested weight), and I felt so good. We set up separate stations for my partner, and I hope I encouraged her enough. She did amazing for her first WOD, and I wish I had her confidence!

Finally, I took the boys to a birthday party on Sunday at a local gymnastics studio. The had an amazing time!

At this moment, I’m having a glass of wine and waiting for my dishes to finish so I won’t have any to worry about tomorrow before I head to work.

How was your weekend?

Why CrossFit and Yoga are co-existing species.

Posted on | January 23, 2014 | 9 Comments

I’ve always made fun of yoga. I’m sorry. I’ll go ahead and apologize upfront. All the “The full moon is pulling our energy from our chakras” and “Make this practice your own…do whatever your body tells you to do” makes me snort. I’m sorry (again). I am a very crunchy mama, but the prayers to “Shiva” and the “aligning my inner soul” shit just doesn’t go over well with me.

Y’all, I’m CATHOLIC. When you bring our your ukelele and sing a song to the goddess of your choice at the end of our practice, my nerves shoot through my ass and make me do the opposite of relaxing.

But you know what? I can still see the benefits of yoga. The stretching, the turning, the focusing inward? I GET IT. I can totally recognize leaving your mental state and focusing on different body parts combating physical discomfort. I can do 100 unbroken box jumps. I get torture.

So anyway, I went to “Hot Flow” yoga last Friday in an attempt to loosen my muscles and stretch. I thought the extra heat would help me sweat out my water retention, and I thought the humidity would free up my flexibility. What I didn’t know? The room was 115 degrees. I walked in and immediately started panting. I had convinced a friend to come along, and she looked at me like I had lost my damn mind. The entire class (which was an hour and fifteen minutes long), all I could think was “Mother fucking shit is this class over?! My sweat is blinding me! I’M BLIND! Oh shit, my heart is pounding out of my chest. I’m going to die. Right here. Life is over. This is a horrible way to go!!!”

Then I got home and thought I had the Norovirus. My stomach was, literally, trying to fall out of my ass, and it was pure torture.

So this week? I went for “Warm Flow.” I would be lying if I said I felt comfortable at my yoga studio. Don’t get me wrong…everyone was incredibly welcoming and kind. But looking around me, I felt so out of place. I couldn’t help but notice a huge difference between the other “practicers?” “yogis?” and me. They were slim. Long. Flexible-looking. I am short. Muscular. “Bulky” in the eyes of many, I would imagine. Honestly? Some women would probably see my picture and say, “I don’t want to be bulky like her.” And that, my friends, is a hard pill to swallow.

And then, when we got into class, I got my ass handed to me. It’s not so much the movements of yoga, but the idea of clearing my mind and focusing on the present. In a posture where we were supposed to be, “totally still and clear of mind” all I could think about was how my mat that I had rented smelled like Dill Weed. Clearly, I need work. I recognize that my mind moves too quickly. I have a very hard time being simply present in the moment. I think about anything and everything other than my breathing and my “mantra.” But as the teacher wandered the room during our meditation time and encouraged us to just “be”, I tried really hard to follow her instruction. And as she told us that we were all “perfect and strong” however we were, I had to try not to cry. It’s true, what they say, that yoga can make you feel all the emotions.

It was out of my comfort zone, and it wasn’t easy for me in any way, but I really did enjoy it better this second time. I play on going every week, at least once a week. I think the mobility that yoga gives way to is so incredibly important…not only in CrossFit but in life. It provides a flexibility and suppleness that is necessary for so many of the lifts I do daily. Shoulder mobility, hip flexor mobility, even wrist mobility are issues many CrossFitters battle, and yoga can help solve those issues. I also think the way that it breaks you down mentally helps to build you back up to focus inward during the hardest WODs. So, I will continue to go out of my usual zone and work towards loosing myself in yoga. But my heart will always be with CrossFit.

How was your week? What did you do to better yourself this week?

A new year start.

Posted on | January 22, 2014 | 3 Comments

When I first started at CrossFit, I signed up for three days a week. I struggled to make it even three days a week. Between the babies, the house, and volunteering, it was hard for me to make the time for myself. But I soon realized I wasn’t getting the results I’d hoped for going to Gold’s gym on my days off of CrossFit. This week, I walked into the gym and told the owner I’d like to go ahead and bump my membership up to “unlimited.” I can go whenever I want. I could go three times a day! (I won’t do that. That’s crazy.) So, since a new year has begun, I thought I’d share a bit of how I’m doing and what I hope to be doing.

Here’s the best comparison picture I could find from last year to this year. It’s hard to tell how I looked from the before picture because I was insecure enough to try to hide behind others and do a “sorority squat” to disappear even more.

Okay. So it’s a really not great comparison, but maybe you get the idea? Before=Insecure, not toned, not happy. After=More confident, muscles in new places, happy!

Here were my starting PRs (records for most weight I was able to lift):
Push Press-65lbs
Stict Press-45lbs
Back Squat-125lbs
Front Squat-95lbs
Deadlift-135lbs
Pull ups-NONE without a thick band
Box Jump-16 inches
Push ups-Probably 10 before having to switch to “girl” push ups
Snatch-45lbs
Clean and Jerk-65lbs

Now, about six months later, here is where I stand:
Push Press-105lbs
Strict Press-65lbs
Back Squat-155lbs
Front Squat-125lbs
Deadlift-205lbs
Pull Ups-1 strict, 5 kipping
Push Ups-I can finish any work out without having to go to my knees (including Murph with 200 push ups!)
Snatch-75lbs (power) and 70 (squat)
Clean and Jerk-At least 95lbs, but I haven’t maxed this out for awhile, so I think it would be closer to 110lbs.

And that, my friends, is why I LOVE CrossFit. Even if you can see a big initial change in your body, the change in you ability is astounding if you just stay focused and consistent. It took a full five months for me to start noticing physical changes, and I’d imagine I’ll hit another plateau again before I start seeing more changes. I think that’s probably why people get discouraged. They start and gain weight as they add muscle, and they feel frustrated. Here’s my tip:

THROW THE SCALE AWAY.

Ignore the weight you weigh and focus on the weight you lift. I mean it. If you go to the doctor, turn your ass around so you don’t have to see the number. If you’re tempted to weigh yourself, do a burpee. Eventually, it will become a negative thought in your mind, and you’ll train yourself to avoid it. That’s not to say you should eat whatever you want and pretend CrossFit gives you free rein to chow down on Cook Out and Taco Bell. It doesn’t. But if you eat well and work out consistently, you’ll get results.

Here was today’s work out:

It felt good! I did my push press at 75lbs, 85lbs, and 95lbs. I’m looking forward to the next time we find our max weight because I think I’ll be able to beat my last one. I managed 604 reps on the WOD (I hate that term, but, it really is easier than typing out “Workout of the Day). I did it “perscribed” or “RX’d” meaning I didn’t have to scale anything. My hip flexors were hurting at the end, but it was a fast, fun work out. I schelped it a bit to the gym today, wearing a t-shirt from Taylor’s unit and some crops instead of a fitted tank or anything too cute. Everything was dirty! I guess when you live in work out clothes, you really need to do laundry more than once or twice a week.

I’m headed to warm yoga tonight. I tried hot yoga last week and left feeling like I had the norovirus. I’ll update on my warm yoga experience tomorrow.

How are your work out goals going for this year?

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  • I'm a twenty-something mama to two little boys and married to the love of my life. Former Diet Coke addict with a tendency to overshare. My biggest dream is to write a book. A good book that tons of people buy and relate to and love. In the mean time, this is the story of us as we flounder through raising our wild, little boys, moving a million times thanks to the US Army, and buying and renovating our 1968 Ranch home."



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